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Meebo, Universal Music strike a chord

The chat start-up is the latest video syndication partner for the record label, which will in turn use "Meebo Rooms" on fan pages of Universal artists such as Kanye West and the Killers.

Web-based chat company Meebo has partnered with Universal Music Group to bring ad-supported music videos to the service.

As a kickoff, Universal artists Kanye West, Ludacris, and the Killers will be featured on the Meebo home page. In return, Meebo chat rooms will be embedded on Universal artists' sites.

I'm still not quite sure why a chat start-up needs Kanye videos when Mr. West and his many pairs of sunglasses are already plastered all over the rest of the Internet, but I'll let that rest for now.

In the past year, Meebo has launched an application programming interface, partnered with media brands such as Hearst to power embeddable chat rooms, and launched a "Community IM" initiative for social sites.

But Meebo is just the latest of many video partners for Universal. Universal has made investments in Imeem, a music playlist-based social network, and Buzznet, a music fan community hub.

Earlier this year, the label struck a music video deal with Last.fm, a music-focused social network owned by CBS Interactive (which publishes CNET News) and Kiwibox, a community site for teens. Like the major other labels, it has a stake in MySpace Music.

Universal is also reported to be working on a "Hulu-like" site for its music video content. There's no word if that's still on the books, now that music video portal MTV Music has launched.